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RMG accessory units under serious threat Exploitation by producers & merchandisers blamed

02 December 2021

Reza Mahmud :
Local producers of RMG accessories are under threat due to illegal commission business of concern officials of buyers and irregular payments by the garments factory owners, sources said.
Businessmen from the sector said that the hazardous of the potential readymade garment's backward linkage industries have made about two thousand factories and 8 lakh employees' future vulnerable.
Sources said, earlier of the 90th decades, RMG factories were dependent on importing accessories like buttons, cartons, labels, poly bags, hangers and such many other materials.
In that decade, the accessories industries were established and created a new era of RMG sector.
Foreign brands of RMG opened their offices in the country as the accessories become available there.
The RMG factories also were benefitted from the local accessories industries as they got relieved from lengthy shipment of importing those materials.
The country also became able to save lots of foreign currencies.
But the current crises of the sector have choked the potential industries.
Meanwhile, some foreign brands are mulling to shift their offices to China which might threaten the RMG sector.
In this situation, the businessmen said, many of the RMG accessories factories are facing of closure of their businesses.
Sources said, if the accessories producing factories are closed, the total RMG sector might suffer a setback.
The RMG sector then must be dependable on importing accessories which push them on lengthy process of shipment of their products.
It also has to be drained out lots of valuable foreign currencies for importing those products.
Entrepreneurs in this sector said that they had identified three main threats to push the industries into wane.
"Lower level employees of foreign RMG brands' local offices are involved with illegal commission business. They create huge hazardous for the garments accessories industries in the country," said one of the industrialists preferring anonymity due to his business interests.
He said, foreign RMG brands like H&M and CNA have opened their offices in Bangladesh as they found the accessories are available here.
"But their local officials working in lower stages are playing role of purchasing accessories be involved with illegal commission business. Without giving them commission doing business is tough here. They create untold problem in the sector," the businessman said.
One of of his fellow businessman also echoed the same saying the foreign brands should increase monitoring the local officials activities.
They also said, the foreign brands already started monitoring those local employees bank accounts and others. But it has to increase right now as their audacity yet to end.
Several leaders from Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) suggested that the foreign brands should employ the locals here for two years tenure so that they would not get enough time to be corrupted.
The second threat as they identified is from the merchandisers of buying houses also related the same illegal commission business.  
Both the merchandisers and local employees of foreign RMG brands are used to use threat of submitting negative reports to the foreign RMG buyers if the accessories producers disagreed to give them demanded commissions.  
The third hazardous, they said, is RMG factory owners are irregular in giving payments.
BGAPMEA leaders said they have to pay employees wages similar to RMGs, but they have not got any incentives like other business during the covid-19 situation.
Meanwhile, the long delayed payment by RMG owners also created a vulnerable situation for them, the entrepreneurs' alleged.

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